The Do’s and Don’ts of Hospital Fire Safety

Fires are destructive for any business, but the response becomes much more involved in hospitals. Moving patients may pose severe risks to their health. Anything you can do to prevent fires from happening in the first place will help you avoid the challenges they present.

Improving Your Hospital Fire Safety Program

At Unlimited Restoration, we specialize in disaster response. We’ve seen what fires can do to hospitals, and our experience gives us a unique perspective on prevention. Here are a few tips that can help you avoid an emergency.

The Do’s

  • Plan for the worst: Fire prevention goes a long way, but disasters can still happen. When they do, having an evacuation plan ready will help ensure everyone makes it to safety while the first responders get to work.
  • Pay attention to the kitchen: Recent data shows that kitchen and cooking equipment causes two-thirds of all hospital fires. Clean the grease traps and appliances, check electrical outlets, watch open flames and store flammables safely.
  • Install suppression systems: Equipping your hospital with a wet sprinkler system can help stop fires from spreading. You should also work with a professional to install an appropriate number of fire extinguishers and train your staff to use them properly.

The Don’ts

  • Never mix oxygen and open flames: Carelessness around open flames can cause significant property damage and potential injuries. Oxygen, whether mobile, confined to a patient room or in storage, needs proper handling. Always avoid cigarettes or fire exposure nearby.
  • Delay in your response: Even if a fire stays contained to one room, the subsequent smoke and water damage can spread much further. In addition to the visible damage, smoke, soot and water present health hazards that will grow each day.

Quick Facts on Hospital Fire Safety and Prevention

A little extra knowledge goes a long way in fire safety. Keeping the following in mind will help you prevent fires and ensure everyone’s safety.

What Causes Fires in Hospitals?

According to the National Fire Prevention Agency, fires in hospitals and health care facilities typically start due to several common causes. Kitchen fires started by cooking equipment lead the chart. Other common origins include fires caused by electrical equipment, intentional acts, heating systems, smokers and accidents while using heat sources, in that order.

What Do You Do in a Hospital Fire?

If you see a fire or hear an alarm, patient safety takes precedence. If the fire is controllable, a fire extinguisher can buy valuable time while people leave the area, or might even put the fire out. If the danger is immediate or the flames are growing too fast, engaging your evacuation plan will help you stay ahead.

Create a Disaster Plan for Your Hospital

Gain the peace of mind that comes with having a plan to act fast if a fire breaks out in your hospital or health care facility. With a Priority Response Emergency Plan (PREP) from URI, “We’re On It.” Our team will evaluate your entire structure and determine everything we need to do ahead of time to bring your facility back online fast. Having a plan ready with URI also gives you priority 24/7 disaster response in case you ever need it.

Planning is free and a service we are happy to provide to help protect your people and preserve your assets. Contact us today to start designing your disaster response plan.


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